The Watertown-Mayer boys’ basketball continued its late-season surge last week, winning a pair of Minnesota River Conference games to improve to 5-4 in the conference at 11-8 overall. The Royals have won four in a row, and seven of their last 10.
The Royals started last week with a 70-52 home win over Tri City United on Tuesday, Feb. 5. The Royals also defeated LeSueur-Henderson, 67-57, on the road on Friday, Feb. 8. Stats were not available for that game at press time.
Royals 70, TCU 52
The Royals rallied from a 12-6 deficit in the first half to take a 31-19 lead, and went on to beat Tri City United in a Minnesota River Conference game.
The Royals run over the latter part of the second half was keyed in large part by some stellar outside shooting. Caleb Fails and Jacob Wandersee each hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Barna Berenyi also hit another to spark the Royals’ burst.
“The big key was we finally pushed the tempo more and made TCU a bit more uncomfortable in their offense,” Watertown-Mayer coach Bob Hennen said. “Berenyi had some good passes in the open court. Our transition game allowed us to get easy looks.”
TCU hung around early in the second half before the Royals started to pull away. Several threes from Wandersee, Hunter Hulley and Berenyi helped put the Titans away. Hulley had 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half, with many of them coming on the offensive glass.
Hennen said his team’s defense in the second half was also a big part of the victory.
“Our defense tightened up, and we seemed to do a better job of making them take jumpers instead of getting to the hoop,” Hennen said.
In addition to Hulley’s 18 points, Fails added 16 — 11 of which came in the first half — and Berenyi finished with 10.
“We had a lot of guys step up throughout the game,” Hennen said. “They really sunk in on Luke (Sandquist), so other guys had to make shots. The bench play of (Brandon) Kuntz, Berenyi and Hulley was terrific.”
The Royals hosted Rockford on Tuesday, Feb. 12, and will return to action on Thursday, Feb. 14, at Norwood Young America. The Royals ill also host Belle Plaine on Monday, Feb. 18, and play at Sibley East on Tuesday, Feb. 19.